Where To Stay in Paris

Updated: March 4, 2018

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Best Areas to Stay in Paris

Rue Cler is a great place to stay in Paris for first timers, families, and honeymooners.

The charming, central, and village-like setting of Rue Cler in the 7th arrondisement. Great for families and first timer visitors to Paris.

Paris is one of the easiest cities to get around, even for first timers. Visitors love the fact that most of the city is walkable or easily connected by a comprehensive and reliable metro system. Taxis are readily available and there is even a vast network of public bikes you can use.

Paris is divided broadly as the Right Bank and Left Bank (north of the River Seine and south of the river, respectively) and further subdivided into 20 districts or arrondisements. Districts are given numbers and, starting from just north of the Seine, swirl out clockwise. This means that the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondisements are the most central with the higher numbers being further out and typically more residential. When navigating, most people will refer to the arrondisement and/or more specifically the closest metro stop. Street names are almost irrelevant as the majority of them are only a few blocks long or, most confusingly, will change names once you cross into another district.

Most Paris sights and things to do are in the center, which are safe and walkable neighborhoods that include the most notable restaurants, shopping, and landmarks. Probably the most popular neighborhoods are the Marais on the right bank (in the 4th) and Saint-Germain on the left bank (in the 6th). Generally speaking most people associate the Left Bank with classic architecture and Hemingway haunts while the Right Bank tends to be hip and trendy. The best hotels in Paris are spread around the central core and no district has a monopoly on luxury accommodations.

Paris areas not reachable by foot can easily be accessed by metro. Each metro ride requires one ticket (regardless of distance) that costs €1.80 and you can purchase them from machines found in every station. The machines take either cash or a chipped credit card, have an English language function and give you the option to buy a book of 10 tickets for €14.10 (called a carnet) which gives you a small discount and useful if you plan on taking the metro often. The metro trains are extremely reliable and every station even has a real time display telling you how many minutes until the next one arrives. The 16 Paris metro lines cover all parts of the city and is usually the fastest way to get around to avoid traffic.

The Best Places to Stay in Paris

Where To Stay in Paris on Honeymoon for Couples.

The romantic boutique hotel Relais Christine in Paris.

  • Most Romantic Neighborhood in Paris: Montmartre
    Up in the hills of Montmartre, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. This neighborhood offers breathtaking views while retaining a quaint, village like charm. Wander around cobble stone streets or climb up its many picturesque hills and staircases in an area far from the tourist throng. Stroll past ivy-covered townhouses or the vines of Paris’ only winery. Have a picnic on the steps of the Sacre Couer and you’re in for one of the most magical views in Paris.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for Food and Restaurants: 11th Arrondisement
    The best neighborhood for foodies is the 11th. Located just outside the central arrondisements and with cheaper rents, many of the city’s up and coming chefs have set up shop in this area. Generally catering to a local crowd, prices are relatively more affordable in the 11th where the focus is on relaxed eateries with excellent food vs. stuffy haute cuisine. You’ll find everything here from newly minted Michelin star establishments to the most trend setting chefs to hip natural wine bars.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for Nightlife: Marais
    Paris has lots of options for nightlife, it’s just a matter of what you’re in the mood for. For great bar-hopping, head over to the Marais. Here you’ll find a diverse mix of everything from secret speakeasies to chic cocktail lounges filled with trendy Parisians. For something a little more lively, the area around Pigalle offers cabarets shows like the Moulin Rouge, concert halls with bands every night and neighborhood dive bars that bring in a roster of DJs. If you’re willing to trek out to the 13th you’ll have the most unique array of options. From the massive complex that houses Nuba and Wanderlust to the small docked boats that have been transformed into intimate concert and dance spaces, you’ll find only locals frequenting these riverside hangouts.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for Sightseeing: 1st Arrondisement
    For people who plan to do a lot of sightseeing, stay in the 1st. Many of Paris’s most famous landmarks are in this distric and you’ll be well positioned to see many others. In the 1st arrondisement alone you can visit the Louvre, the beautiful stained glasswork of Sainte-Chapelle, stroll through the Tuileries Garden, or a glass of wine at one of the quaint cafes lining the garden of the Palais Royale. The Place Vendome, the beautiful plaza where Coco Chanel used to live, is also home to the newly renovated Ritz Carlton where you can have a drink at the Hemmingway Bar. You’re also within easy walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Centre Pompidou, Champs Elysees, and just across the river from the Musee D’Orsay and Saint Germain. You will have to take the metro to the Eiffel Tower, but the 1st is well connected by metro and the station Chatelet is one of the biggest hubs, serving 5 different metro lines and the train that goes out to Disneyland.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for a Local Vibe: 11th Arrondisement
    The 11th arrondisement captures the spirit of how most Parisians really live. Away from the more glamorous neighborhoods like Saint Germain and the Marais, you’ll find informal bistros, fashionable cafes, hip boutiques and galleries, and lots of local nightlife. The 11th is a blend of younger Parisians near Oberkampf, artists in Belleville, families on the eastern outskirts, as well as an amalgam of the Vietnamese, North African, and Middle Eastern diaspora that calls Paris home.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris to Stay for First Timer: 7th Arrondisement
    The 7th arrondisement is the perfect place to stay for first time visitors. Home to the Eiffel Tower, notable museums like the Musée d’Orsay, world class restaurants, some of the most beautiful architecture in the city and the charming market street Rue Cler, you’ll experience what most people think of when they envision Paris. You’ll also have the benefit of being away from some of the hustle and bustle in neighboring Saint Germain while being close enough to take advantage of its wine bars and jazz clubs.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for Families: Saint Germain
    Most districts in Paris are great for families but a few stand out. Depending on the age of your children, Saint Germain near the Luxembourg Gardens, the Marais near Places des Vosges, and the 1st near the Tuilleries are all highly central with great playgrounds. All are walkable with access to shops, sites, and restaurants. The 5th, though not as connected by metro but still very central might be another district to consider. You’ll still have access to all the amenities, plus a quieter, village like feel. Family friendly highlights include the Natural History Museum and the botanical garden known as Jardin des Plantes. If your kids are a little older, then you’ll definitely want to stay in the Marais. With all the trendy boutiques, galleries, and cafés, it’s great for young adults but still offers lots of cultural activities like the Centre Pompidou.
  • Best Neighborhood in Paris for Shopping: Marais
    There is something for everyone in the Marais. From chic boutiques filled with local Parisian designers, French chains like APC, international brands like American Apparel, or more upscale shopping, the Marais caters to both men and women at almost every price point. While most tourists head to the Galeries Lafayette, stylish Parisians prefer to shop at BHV (short for Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville). You can find nearly everything under one roof – from tools in their hardware department to the latest Marc Jacobs to an outpost of the Alain Ducasse cooking school. Tourists also get an immediate 10% off when you show a foreign passport.
  • Unsafe Areas of Paris
    Paris is quite safe and generally speaking the majority of crime that happens is of the pickpocketing variety. There are a few areas that might appear unsafe, especially late at night, and are worth mentioning if you’re not familiar with the city. Certain neighborhoods like Goutte D’or or the areas around the metro stops Barbes Rouchechouart and Chateau Rouge can be unwelcoming at night. Same for the area around Gare du Nord train station – though bustling during the day it can attract an unsavory element after hours. In recent years, there are a few areas of Paris that have become makeshift refugee camps. Though not unsafe, it may appear so and give some people pause. Several sites have sprung up around the city, but a few larger encampments are around the metro Stalingrad, a section near the Colonel Fabian metro station and the Halle Pujol market area in the 18th.

The Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Tourists

Best Neighborhood to stay in Paris: Hotel in Marais.

The Pavillon de la Reine in the wonderful Marais district in Paris.


One of the trendiest neighborhoods in Paris, the Marais is defined by the hip Parisians who come to eat, drink, and shop in this uber cool quartier. Though the tone of the neighborhood slants towards a younger set, the Marais’s diversity offers something for everyone – from its famed Jewish quarter to the historic Place des Vosges – for visitors who’ve checked off their sightseeing list, the Marais is the perfect place to understand Paris outside of the guidebooks.
Best Hotel: Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa

Saint Germain

Saint Germain retains the timeless charm of the Left Bank while buzzing with a lively array of galleries, restaurants and jazz clubs. From the upscale shops that dot the bustling Boulevard Saint Germain to the aristocratic calm of the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quartier is popular with locals and tourists alike. This neighborhood typically attracts a well-heeled crowd who come seeking only the biggest names in food and fashion. Though at times the area may feel overrun with tourists, the biggest advantage is that you’ll find many shops and restaurants open while other areas of the city lay quiet.
Best Hotel: Relais Christine

Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is great for those who want a central location with classic Parisian charm while seeking something a little quieter. Find somewhere away from the student hangouts for which the area is typically associated with and you’ll find yourself strolling down cobblestone streets, through leafy squares, and taking in some of the most diverse architecture in the city which includes Roman ruins, gothic spires and the innovative Institut du Monde Arabe. Great restaurants and wine bars abound in this part of the city as well as the lively market street Rue Mouffetard.
Best Hotel: Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon

The 7th

The 7th has everything you think of when you think of Paris – the Eifel Tower, the Seine, excellent museums, breathtaking architecture, charming markets, high-end shopping, and world class restaurants. Its diversity and versatility make it a popular choice for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. Visit the family friendly Berges de Seines and you’ll have a riverfront play area that stretches from the Musee D’Orsay to the Pont D’Alma. Or at night, take a romantic stroll near the Pont Alexander III bridge, one of the most beautiful Beaux-Arts bridges in Paris where you’ll also have a view of the Grand Palais just on the other side of the Seine. Be sure to stay near the street Rue Cler, a charming market street that has a village like feel and gives you a small slice of Parisian life.
Best Hotel: Le Cinq Codet

South Pigalle

Tourist who want a more local vibe should visit South Pigalle. Just south of the former red light district, the city’s most up-and-coming destination offers quiet tree-lined streets dotted with fashionable boutiques, cafes, and a thriving restaurant and bar scene. A few tucked away boutique hotels have popped up in recent years, allowing tourists to take advantage of its proximity to the hills of Montmartre and nearby Sacre Coeur.
Best Hotel: Maison Souquet


Montmartre’s village like charm and breathtaking views are the biggest reasons to stay in this part of Paris. Though it’s a bit far from the other main attractions, you can easily reach the rest of the city by metro or explore this neighborhood’s unique history. Away from the touristy spots such as the Sacre Couer, Moulin Rouge, and Place du Tertre, you’ll find quiet cobblestone streets to wander with Avenue Junot having some of the most beautiful houses in Paris or Rue des Saules which climbs past the Vigne de Montmartre (Paris’s only vineyard). The street also connects the Montmartre hilltop with the Lamarck-Caulaincourt neighborhood with several stretches of stairs and its beauty was immortalized by artists such as Cezanne and Van Gogh.
Best Hotel: Hôtel Particulier Montmartre

The 1st

The 1st arrondisement is a great base for sightseeing. You’re in the heart of Paris with many of the city’s sights within walking distance such as the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, and Notre Dame Cathedral while the Musee D’Orsay and Saint Germain are just across the river. Combined with a fantastic dining scene including some of Paris’s best restaurants like Spring and Verjus, visitors have an abundance of activities to choose from both day and night.
Best Hotel: Le Meurice

Recommended Paris Hotel

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14 Questions and Comments

  1. Staying in Clichy Area of Paris

    I am looking at hotels in the Clichy section, how safe is that area? Would you recommend it. Also, is there an age limit on staying in Hostels in Paris? Thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      The area around Clichy is pretty mixed. Since it’s close to some red light district activity, you may see some of that near where you are staying. So it’s safe but some people might not feel comfortable. Also, depending on where you’re staying, there are some big boulevards with lots of traffic so safety might not be as much of a concern as street noise. The closer you can be to South Pigalle, the nicer the neighborhood. Regarding hostel age limits, there are some such as the Auberge International des Jeunes that do have restrictions. You need to be 18-30. But all hostels vary.

  2. Best Shopping Areas in Paris

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for the info its very helpful. I’m taking my mom and my 9yr daughter to Paris for 3 days at the end of April. What are some good shopping areas or stores? Not looking for famous designers clothing or anything fancy.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      Normally I’d say the Marais, which has a lot of cool boutiques and French designers. But since you’re with a 9 year old and your mother, they might be a bit too trendy. A solid area with lots of price points and options is the area around Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Not only will you have lots of budget friendly options, the stores themselves are beautiful and practically historic landmarks. In that area you will also see a lot of chains such as H+M and Uniqlo, but there are a lot of great French brands represented inside Galeries Lafayette too. Or another option is BHV, which is the department store most Parisians go to. Tourists get an on the spot 10% off discount if you show a passport or international drivers license, and it will be much less touristy than GL. If you wanted to go off the beaten track a bit, you might enjoy the old passages such as Passage des Panoramas. There won’t be many clothing boutiques, but you’ll find some cool toy stores, antique umbrellas, postcards and art books, all while you’re stepping back in time. And if you did want to see more of the luxury side of Parisian shopping, check out Le Bon Marche or any of the shops along Avenue Montaigne.

  3. Where To Stay Outside of Paris with Free Parking, Metro, Quiet

    Hi Dave,

    My husband and I and his brother and girlfriend will be visiting Paris in the next few weeks but we will only be in Paris for 1.5 days. We will be driving in and therefore want to stay just outside of Paris but with public transport into the city. Where do you suggest? We don’t like a lot of hustle and bustle, something quiet and safe would be great. Also, we will need to do laundry, what do you suggest for that?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      There are lots of places to stay outside the peripherique, the official border between Paris proper and the suburbs, and defined by a large ring road that encircles the city. The best place would be outside the 17th arrondisement. A very safe, quiet and residential part of the city, the immediate suburbs like Levallois-Perret and Neuilly-sur-Seine are really nice while being close to the Arc de Triomphe and other major sites. Levallois-Perret has the advantage that there are many offices headquartered there so you’ll have a few more choices for restaurants, etc. vs. Neuilly which will be more residential. Neuilly is also considered one of the poshest suburbs. For laundry, there are laundromats throughout Paris. They are called “lavarie” and are much like the laundromats you’d find anywhere else – self service, coin operated machines. Instructions will most likely be in French though.

  4. Where To Stay in Paris First Time

    What area of Paris is best for first timer? We really haven’t planned our stay (late April) but have 3 days in Paris and want to visit the highlights. Prefer to be able to walk everywhere. Is there one neighborhood that makes airport access (CDG) easy? As well as being close to museums, good restaurants, and casual nightlife?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      There are a few neighborhoods I’d recommend for first timers. The 7th is great because you’re close to the Eiffel Tower, great neighborhood restaurants and the charming Rue Cler market street. However some first timers prefer Saint Germain as it’s a little more lively and you’ll have more nightlife options like jazz clubs and wine bars. The Louvre is a short walk across the river as well as Notre Dame. For airport access, you might consider the area around Opera. It’s a major hub for tourists and a drop off point for the shuttle buses that run directly from CDG. There are plenty of great restaurants and you’re also close to all the big department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

  5. Safe Areas To Stay in Paris

    Hi Dave,

    We are 3 couples with 1 1-year plus baby and are planning to go to Paris in May next year. We find it hard to get a safe location because every time we found a good lodging, the location seems dodgy. Also, I read some review saying that near 7th is to be avoided. Any advice? This will be our first time there too.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      All areas in central Paris are safe for tourists and definitely the 7th (not sure what you’ve been reading but it’s wrong).

  6. Best Paris Neighborhood for Family of 4

    Hi, we are a family with 4 (2 sons aged 15 and 18), planning to make first visit to Paris between 17-20 Dec, through London. Like to visit those top tourism places such as Eiffel Tower, the Seine plus spend a day in Disneyland (since this is their 25th anniversary this year). Can you suggest a suitable neighborhood for us to hunt for accommodation via Airbnb?

  7. Paris Nightlife, Bars, and Clubs

    What is the best neighborhood of Paris for nightlife? Looking for bars with draft beer. Also dance clubs. Do most places have cover charge and what time does nightlife start in Paris?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Hotels + Travel

      There are many options for nightlife in Paris, but for what you are describing I’d suggest the area around Bastille or in the 13th. Rue de Lappe is a fun stretch of bars that cater to just about everyone. There are no cover chrages, no dress code, and it’s a pretty casual yet lively ambiance. It has gotten popular with tourists over the years, but you’re not dealing with bouncers and velvet ropes. Many bars offer djs and music so you can dance, but technically the better dance clubs are in the 13th and mostly located in the complex called Les Docks. There, you’ll have lots of options to choose from such as Wanderlust, Nuits Fauve and Nuba. It might be a bit out of the way for some, so you could also try the area around the Champs Elysee. These clubs tend to be more pricey however, but also more “Parisian.” For example Showcase is a club inside an old boathouse under the Alexandre III bridge with an outdoor terrace on the Seine overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

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